In defence of methodological pluralism in educational research

Year: 2019

Author: Stevens, Robert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper argues against hierarchies of research methodologies in education. It is not the case that some methodologies are better than others in any absolute sense but some methodologies are better suited to answering some research questions than others. Methodologies (like pedagogies) need to be fit for purpose. Addressing practical problems in education requires looking at a range of research questions within a range of disciplines including Philosophy, History, Psychology, Sociology Technology and Architecture. Addressing the big issues in education policy and practice requires bringing together knowledge from a range of disciplines employing a range of methodological tools. Robust education research depends on methodological pluralism rather than monism and a favouring of “both…and” thinking to “either…or” thinking.